A Clarification From George Ou and Richard Bennett.

During the VonTV Debate, I stated that I was “sensitive to the arguments of George Ou and Richard Bennett that mandatory disclosure might allow people to circumvent network management tools, but I believe we can strike a balance.” I received an email from George Ou stating that he believed I misrepresented his and Bennett’s position.

Certianly it was not my intention to misstate anyone’s position. I therefore asked both George Ou and Richard Bennett to provide me with a statement of their position to reprint on my blog. They are reproduced below in their entirety.

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Blogroll Jubilee!

Noted “reasonable conservative” blogger Jon Swift last year came up with the idea of a “Blogroll Amnesty Day”, sort of a jubilee during which the policy of “put me on your blogroll and I’ll put you on mine”1 would be in effect.

Now he reports that the idea is catching on, and that many blogs will be observing blogroll amnesty days on February 1, 2 & 3. Friends, I’m here to tell you that Wetmachine will be joining the fun too-also, subject to the proviso explained below the fold.

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Dave Sez: AT&T Are [Bleep!]

My friend “Dave” recently moved from San Francisco to Sacramento. Being of the modern mobile generation that has “cut the cord” and lives by the cell phone, Dave wanted to get “naked DSL.” i.e., DSL (or other broadband) without any kind of telephone or video contract (Dave also refuses to pay for cable TV, on the grounds that 99% of the programming “sucks”). To his surprise and disappointment, Dave couldn’t find any naked broadband available in his neighborhood. So he wrote to me, as the known expert on all things broadband. “Isn’t there any way I can just get broadband without a telephone contract?” Dave wrote me in an email.

So I thought about it, and I said: “Is Sacramento AT&T territory?”


“Well AT&T has to offer $20 naked DSL, as a merger condition from when they bought BellSouth. Why don’t you try for that.”

So Dave dug around until he found the offer for AT&T DSL until he found the AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet Package With No Voice Contract:

Basic 768 kbps $19.95
Express 1.5 mbps $23.99
Pro 3.0 mbps $28.99

We talked, and I recommended the “Express” package as probably the best suited to his needs. Dave went to order it. His reactions below (warning, contains frank language and highly suggestive ASCII)….

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Action Alert: Senate Judiciary Mark Up On FISA — Call To Oppose Telco Immunity

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up the FISA reform legislation today, Thursday November 15.

The bottom line is that now is the time to call the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to oppose retroactive immunity for telecom companies that helped the Bush administration spy on Americans without warrant.

MYDD has this post with a call to action and announces that they will cover the cost of your phone call to the Senate Judiciary members. Follow the link to Chris Dodd’s campaign website to take action now!

[UPDATE 7:14 PM Thursday, by John]: I just got an email from Senator Dodd’s office announcing victory in the Judiciary Committee today. I’ll enter the letter in a comment below the fold.

Stay tuned . . . .

On the open-sourcing of OpenLaszlo

My friend and colleague Sarah Allen has a nice little essay on her blog Ultrasaurus about what it was like to be part of a project that took a closed-source platform (“Laszlo Presentation Server”) and made it open (OpenLaszlo).

Like Sarah, I found that changing to the “open” way of doing software development took a little getting used to. One of the most profound, and yet most mundane differences is how you use email. Before we went open, if I had a technical question for, say, Tucker, I would send him an email; perhaps I would copy a few other interested parties.

Now, however, if I have technical question for Tucker, I send it to him and copy the OpenLaszlo Developer’s list or the OpenLaszlo User’s list. Which means that hundreds of people, at least, may be reading my messages. Similarly, all development work (including my baliwick, the documentation) is driven by tasks and bugs listed in the OpenLaszlo JIRA database. All of our code, communication, and planning, is in the open.

Sometimes this does make one feel a little awkward– like when you have to ask a question that you think you should know the answer to, and are embarrassed. But the “upside” is tremendous, as you often get helpful answers from people you’ve never heard of, in far off places, who are part of the OpenLaszlo community.

Hey Rush, in case you missed this

I know that our friend the patriotic draft-dodging drug addict Rush Limbaugh is a busy man and doesn’t get time to read all his email or answer all his phone calls. But given the prominent position of Wetmachine in our nation’s political discourse, I daresay there is some chance he’s reading Wetmachine right now. Therefore, I’m taking this opportunity to pass along this message from another patriot (this one’s not phony, by the way), Eric Massa.

No need to thank me, Rush. But please send me a note to let me know when Eric will be a guest on your show.

I've been spamtrapped!

I was just trying to add a comment to Harold’s blog entry, below, when the screen suddenly went a horrible blue, and a (probably illegally used, copyrightwise) image of a can of Spam(tm) appeared, along with this message:

You’ve been spamtrapped

we will not tolerate spam Als u menselijk bent en u denkt dat u onterecht wordt beschuldigd van spam activiteiten op mijn weblog, ga dan terug naar de vorige pagina. Mogelijkerwijs bevat uw commentaar een link naar een site welke ik op dit weblog weer. Ook kan het gebruik van verschillende woorden zoals casino u naar deze pagina hebben geleid.

If you are human and you think that you are wrongly beeing accused of trying to spam my blog, please return to the previous page by going back. You’ve been sent here because the original comment contains illegal keywords like casino or links to spamming websites. I will not tolerate these links on my weblog and as a precaution all content is filtered before submitted to the site.

What’s particularly galling this remark is the sentence, “I will not tolerate these links on my weblog:” WTF? Hey, it’s MY GODDAMN WEBLOG, YOU STUPID PIECE OF SOFTWARE! WHO THE BLEEP DO YOU THINK YOU ARE????

Anyway, over the last few weeks we have recieved some email from friends of the site to the effect that they had been prevented from making comments. I put that on my list of things to worry about at some time in the future. Now that it has happened to me & I have experienced first hand just how irritating and insulting it is, let me just say that this problem has gotten my attention for real. I cannot promise how soon we’ll get it resolved, but it will probably be sooner than if I had not been spamptrapped. In the meantime, any of you who have been impoperly spamtrapped, please accept my apology on behalf of my well-meaning but incompetent and rude spam blocker.

By the way, here’s my comment on Harold’s blog entry (below the fold):

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Comcast Really Ought to Do Something About That Spam Blacklist Policy

The San Jose Mercury News reports on yet another group blaklisted by Comcast’s anti-spam policy. This time, it was the venerable online community The WELL that got blocked, then had a devil of a time getting off the blacklist.

Having been temporarily blocked by Comcast myself, I can say that it is rather unnerving to find oneself cut off from a huge number of folks because you fit some email online profile (or, in the case of The Well, because a bad actor in your community created a problem). As I reported, my case was easily resolved, but The Well and others (such as afterdowningst.org) have run into trouble.

Yes, blacklists have a long tradition, going back to the old days when there were damn few of us online and cutting off someone’s access to your subscribers was unlikely to cause anyone any harm. Nowadays, when it is easy to spoof IP addresses and when getting blacklisted even for a short period of time can cause serious issues, companies should reexamine their policies. Given that Comcast is the largest residential broadband provider in the U.S., I really hope they reevaluate the usefulness of their blacklist policy ASAP.

National Day of Outrage on COPE/Stevens Bill

As mentioned in the comments on my previous entry, a number of groups are planning on holding a National Day of Outrage against the continued assault by the telco and cable interests against our information infrastructure and free speech rights.

I want to highlight this and encourage folks to click through to the link above to find out how you can participate. Even if it’s just sending one more email or making one more phone call to your Senator or Representative on this issue, it makes a difference to work it together to highlight the issue on May 24.

Stay tuned . . .